When it comes to financial aid, bigger is always better. However, sometimes you don’t get as much money as you need on the first try. That’s where appeals come in. Did you know that you can appeal financial aid decisions? You can write a financial aid appeal letter. You can even do a FAFSA appeal. The best way to appeal financial aid is to go through it with a step-by-step process, remaining kind and courteous until you get the financial aid package that you need.

Starting a FAFSA Appeal

If you read your FAFSA financial aid numbers, and you think they’re too low to get you through school, you can start the FAFSA appeal process. To do a FAFSA appeal, the first thing you need to do is contact your school’s financial aid office. It is more effective to do this in person than over the phone or via email.

Meeting With Your Financial Aid Adviser

At your school, you will meet with your financial aid adviser. Plan to ask him for several things. You need to know if your school has any forms or procedures you will be required to follow in the appeals process. You will also need to know if there is a deadline to submit your financial aid appeal letter. The final thing you need to learn is what kind of documentation your school requires to prove a change in circumstances for financial aid. The best way to appeal financial aid decisions is to follow your adviser’s recommendations.

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Writing Your Financial Aid Appeal Letter

Before you start writing, brush up on the correct business letter format. Your financial aid appeal letter is very important, so it needs to be both formal and readable. Remember to have someone check your grammar and spelling after you’re done.

In the body of your letter, get as specific as possible by including evidence of how your circumstances have changed. For example, maybe one of your parents lost a job. Without your parent’s income, you won’t be able to put forward as much money to pay for college as you previously anticipated. The numbers on FAFSA would change, and you would be owed more money.

However, you can’t just make claims about your situation and expect the financial aid committee to trust you. The best way to appeal financial aid is to provide as much concrete detail as possible. In the body of your letter, outline the exact changes in circumstances and how they will affect your ability to pay for school. Include monetary figures if possible. You can also offer to provide documentation, such as a notarized affidavit, government documents or pay stubs to indicate a loss of funds.

About the Author

Rebecca Renner is a teacher and college professor from Florida. She loves teaching about literature, and she writes about books for Book Riot, Real Simple, Electric Literature and more.